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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan. 11, 2007
    Location
    Central VA
    Posts
    1,399

    Default Turnout-- two geldings and one mare

    I have a retired gelding and a small welsh mare at home. He is absolutely IN LOVE with her, and she (mostly) loves him. I got another gelding as a free lease about six months ago and when I tried to turn him out with them, the other gelding freaked and chased him all over the place... protecting his woman, I suppose. It was ugly and I was scared someone was really going to get hurt. So I gave up and put the horse in a different pasture alone. His owner told me that he always got picked on at their farm and they had him turned out alone also. Well, things didn't work out with that horse and I sent him back to his owner a few months ago.

    I'm getting a new gelding tomorrow-- I plan on turning him out alone at first, but wondering if there is any hope of him eventually joining the "herd" or if I should forget about even trying it since the old guy is so attached to his mare. I'm thinking maybe if I put them fence to fence for awhile first, I could get a feel for how nasty the old guy will be if new guy comes over to his pony. I'd really like for everyone to (eventually) be able to be in the same pasture so it's easier for me to rotate. However, new horse is an older retiree and I don't want him getting run into the ground... plus my old horse is already unsound and doesn't need to be running around like an idiot either.

    In your experience, if you have a gelding that is really attached to a mare in his pasture, will he ever accept another gelding joining the herd?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun. 22, 2008
    Location
    Outside Ocala FL - Horse Capital of the World
    Posts
    6,190

    Default

    Hard to say. I have two geldings and a mare, and most of the time life is good, probably because the mare is not really bonded with either gelding.

    Also, I have 9 acres of pasture, so plenty of room for everyone to get away from each other.
    There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct. 19, 2005
    Posts
    7,320

    Default

    It is really hard to say. A client of mine retired her gelding and got a free TB mare. They already have 2 other geldings. The herd leader immediately claimed her and was rather possessive about her and would chase the other pony gelding away from her.

    I did not think the mare was a good match for my client who's a very green rider, so they returned her.

    Because the gelding was so possessive of the mare I was reluctant at first for her to try another mare out, whom another client wanted to place in a new home, even for free, if it was a really good home.

    We gave it a try anyway and it worked out beautifully. The herd leader and the mare had an argument about who was going to lead the herd, but they got this settled and the gelding is not as possesive of her as he was with the other mare, even when she was in raging heat. He must have been really smitten by the TB mare, but not by this TWH - he even let the pony gelding butter her up when she was in heat.......



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2002
    Location
    West Coast of Michigan
    Posts
    36,321

    Default

    Give it a try and see how it goes. I've had horses in mixed groups and never any real problems.
    Click here before you buy.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan. 11, 2007
    Location
    Central VA
    Posts
    1,399

    Default

    I have two pastures and a fenced barnyard. Barnyard is small, small pasture is about two or three acres and big pasture is seven or eight acres. When I tried with the leased gelding, it was in the big pasture. All that room was not good when the lame old guy started tearing around it like a banshee chasing the new guy! He'd go after the new guy even if the "couple" was all the way across the big field-- he did not want him in there AT ALL. So I don't think pasture size will have much to do with it.

    I'm thinking that there's probably no hope except separate turnout, if I want to keep the peace, but figured I'd see what other people's experiences were.

    ** Edited to add, I'm sort of afraid to just try it and see what happens, because my old guy ruptured a tendon in January (on top of already being lame with ringbone and sidebone) and the horse I'm getting had a tendon tear not quite five months ago. So both are in a fairly delicate state of soundness.
    Last edited by KPF; Jul. 10, 2009 at 01:11 PM. Reason: added info



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep. 14, 1999
    Location
    Just Enough Farm, GA
    Posts
    2,226

    Default

    I would put the two geldings out together without the mare first and then see if you can introduce the mare. I do this with my little herd -- pull the dominant horse and put her with a new arrival, so she doesn't have to feel possessive of her existing herd. Then when I put them all back together it's not as chaotic.

    Of course that said, I now have 3 mares and one gelding and I'm keeping the gelding separate for the foreseeable future to avoid any angst/potential injury.
    If you believe everything you read, better not read. -- Japanese Proverb




  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec. 13, 1999
    Location
    Greensboro, NC
    Posts
    35,495

    Default

    2 geldings and a mare here:

    The possessive gelding was the newbie to the group, so it went ok that way.

    However, if the original gelding is removed from the herd for even a day, when I put him back, the possessive gelding will aggressively chase him away from *his* mare for a bit.

    So if I were you, I'd take Mr Possessive out for a few days, then try making him the newbie.

    It may not work that way either, but it seems to make a difference for my situation as to who is introduced into the herd.

    You could also try taking the mare out and putting the geldings together for a couple of days, then adding the mare back.

    In my case, the deal is just to not have Possessive and Mare together for more than 24 hours without anyone else in the mix.
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 3, 2000
    Location
    Nokesville, VA
    Posts
    35,043

    Default

    After a few days interacting ofer the fence, I'd turn the two geldings out together. Then I'd turn the new gelding out with the mare. Only after both the one-on-one relationships were uneventful would I turn all three out together.
    Janet

    chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).



  9. #9
    Join Date
    May. 4, 2009
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    435

    Default

    It worked well for us. My sister's QH Mick was very protective over my Arab. He had aggressively chased many horses before so we kept them in an individual turnout by themselves. Well when I got my TB Dreamy, we wanted them to all go out together. We started introducing them slowly but they still had quite a few scuffles. Mick would chase Silly up to the corner then make sure Dreamy stayed a good distance away using whatever force he had to. Luckily Dreamy is one of those obnoxious, persistant types and thought it was all just a fun game and he wouldn't take no for an answer. Now Mick and Dreamy are BFF and play together constantly.

    One of the things we did that I think really helped a lot was walking them together everywhere they went. We felt that with them going everywhere together they would eventually see each other as a herd. It seems to have worked pretty well.

    Here are my monsters now

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/29598352@N03/3710076523/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/29598352@N03/3710067253/



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep. 2, 2004
    Location
    Up and Down East Coast
    Posts
    868

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Janet View Post
    After a few days interacting ofer the fence, I'd turn the two geldings out together. Then I'd turn the new gelding out with the mare. Only after both the one-on-one relationships were uneventful would I turn all three out together.
    mine are out together 24/7. only problem is perpetual heat cycles, but after a while normal cycles returned



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul. 7, 2006
    Posts
    245

    Default

    My advice would be to try the 2 geldings together in a seperate field. Allow the 2 geldings to join up together for a few days (at least) and then introduce the mare. In my experience, that has worked well for us. We have a very dominant gelding that we have introduced 3 horses to in this manner and it worked great. Previous barn stated this horse could only ever be turned out with one aggressive horse and no others. He's out with 3 other horses now and does quite well.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep. 12, 2008
    Posts
    342

    Default

    2 geldings and a mare here, too. Gelding and mare first - 2 months later, new gelding - everyone is fine.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    May. 20, 2005
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    668

    Default

    I recently moved my horses to a new farm - I have 2 geldings and they are currently being turnout out in a "new horse" field for about 10 days while they get used to the new farm. Anyway, there is one mare living in there with them - my TB got turned out right away with her and it was love at first sight, my QH did not get turned out at all for the first couple of days due to a bruised hoof. Anyway, he is now being turned out with them and things are fine. My TB is always possesive over his "woman" and he will chase the QH away if he gets to close, but other then that they are fine. They can all three graze in a group my QH just can't be closer to the mare then the TB and my QH knows the TB is in charge and how far to stay away from the mare.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr. 7, 2008
    Location
    Up North
    Posts
    93

    Default Girls are trouble!

    I currently have 2 pony mares and a super sweet Tb gelding. Tb and Pony 1 get along great, when pony 2 was introduced, she LOVED TB, went into heat, hung around him constantly. He's friendly but not interested. Everything fine, then pony 2 went into heat again, this time running over to Tb, whipping around and firing off donkey kicks at him. Apparently chivalry is not dead because he did not defend himself, just tried to avoid her. After she nearly shattered his hock I separated him from the girls. I've also tried Pony 1, Tb and another gelding together. The other gelding was a little possessive of Pony 1 and the boys scuffled more than I liked, I separated Pony 1 until I sold the gelding. Moral of the story: depends on personalities but some boys and girls don't mix! PS Never had a problem with 3 boys, even with 2 that didn't really like each other.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan. 8, 2006
    Location
    B.C. Canada
    Posts
    1,918

    Default

    I had the opposite issue.
    gelding and mare pastured together(both quite mild mannered), and I tossed out another gelding with them

    The mare went batshi*t literally, and chased the new gelding so much I had to remove him. The original gelding couldn't have cared less there was another in the field.
    Quote Originally Posted by ExJumper View Post
    Sometimes I'm thrown off, sometimes I'm bucked off, sometimes I simply fall off, and sometimes I go down with the ship. All of these are valid ways to part company with your horse.



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